Sunday, May 13, 2012

Roman Shades Begin!

 photo courtesy Robert Allen Design  Dialogue

This is what I am shooting for the Great Room windows but as a stationary valance that is a tad less formal. You have seen my fabric which I love. We now have the lumber to mount them on and DH will cut that soon. The big challenge here is the ribbon. I have ten windows, two one yard strips of ribbon on each window so I need 20 yards of ribbon. Ya think a bit costly? I sure do. So here is what I did today.
Rolls of Offray grosgrain ribbon I can afford, particularly with the right coupon from the right source. The ribbon matches the beige embroidery on the fabric. I got the idea of possibly stenciling the ribbon and spent a good part of the afternoon making samples. The room is a soft green, white trim, and assorted pieces of furniture in greens, black and grays and a bit of off white. I did stencils in those same colors and here are the results. Keep in mind this motif is not what I would use. I was just testing color here. I was also trying to figure out if I wanted a softer more stenciled looking effect or a more crisp edge to the paint.

After this I decided to see what Mr. Pfaff could do. I picked out a stitch motif on the machine. You all know I am not a machine embroiderer, just never caught the bug. Then I picked out the threads. I put stabilizer under the ribbons and after a few tries, adjusted the stitch to what you see here.  Here are the results.

 
On this one I used a gray rayon thread. 

Above you can see the same in a regular dual duty thread in the same green as the fabric. 

And here is my final choice, a taupe plum-y color rayon thread. I like this one as it shows but is not too garish, just enough contrast. Whatcha think? I find grays can just die and have no life so this taupe shade has a bit more life than the gray and the green washes out IMO. I want the ribbon to contrast as it does in the original and add a bit of zip.

I hope they enough ribbon at the Joanns for me...and lots of thread too! I will be at this for a while!

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Hope you are all enjoying a wonderful Mother's Day today. Mine was as good as it can be when one is so far from their children but all checked in, we skyped, and I received some lovely gifts . DH gifted me with something I think is pretty special.

A bucket of mealy worms for our bluebirds! These are dehydrated so have no fear. We are both avid birders and the bluebirds love these. Ours have returned and need a bit of their favorite treats. If you are into birding I just read a wonderful book, recently published, called "The Bluebird Effect". It is not what you think. This is the story of a woman passionate about birds who despite obstacles made them her life's work. Her knowledge of birds is like no other I have seen when it comes to understanding their behavior. The book is full of her many drawings,  many drawn right at the nest as she watched. She is an artist too! Her story and her love for birds is a joy to read about. Her name is Julie Zickefoose.


13 comments:

  1. Here are today's comments:
    I love the green thread.
    I love the mealworms gift.
    Thank you so much for the book recommendation..I'm on it (after I put mealworms on my shopping list).

    Happy Mother's Day

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  2. Are you watching any of the bird cams on the Cornell Univ site. Allaboutbirds.com. We've been glued to the red tail hawks for 6 or 7 weeks, from egg-laying to halfway to fledging. They also have a cam on herons and one on bluebirds. Have a look!

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    Replies
    1. I have been watching the RH and GBHeron cams daily. What a treat! Momma Red Tailed Hawk sure earned her mother's day gift providing for those babies! Somehow I missed the bluebird cam and am off to find it right now. Thanks so much, Annie.

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  3. For the ribbon embroidery- maybe put a line of satin stitching down each side of the leaves. Or attach it with a satin stitch down each side of the ribbon. That will give you the look like what your photo showed. There needs to be a sharp line between the leaves and the fabric- the edge of the ribbon isn't enough contrast. It will look more like an old-fashion striped wallpaper. Just an idea...

    Yes, I like the embroidery better than the stencil.

    I have done embroidery with the basic stitches on my machine. I make the kids hanging loops for jackets and do their initials, name or just a design.
    tcsewhat@roadrunner.com

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  4. It will take lots ot time and effort... but I think you will love and enjoy the finished product for years to come! Happy Stitching... and stiching... and stiching!

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  5. I agree that I like the last one best, but I also agree with Anonymous above that a line of stitching at each edge would really be a great effect. I know it will add to your time and effort, but I've never known you to skimp on those for the best finished product :) I also adore that you got mealy worms for a gift! Your husband knows your heart and we can't ask for more than that, can we? For my birthday I got a pull-down cookbook holder for underneath the cabinet beside where I cook. Some women ask for jewelry; I ask for "tools" that make my work or my hobbies easier and/or better. Enjoy your bluebird watching!

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  6. I agree that I like the last one best, but I also agree with Anonymous above that a line of stitching at each edge would really be a great effect. I know it will add to your time and effort, but I've never known you to skimp on those for the best finished product :) I also adore that you got mealy worms for a gift! Your husband knows your heart and we can't ask for more than that, can we? For my birthday I got a pull-down cookbook holder for underneath the cabinet beside where I cook. Some women ask for jewelry; I ask for "tools" that make my work or my hobbies easier and/or better. Enjoy your bluebird watching!

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    Replies
    1. I like Anon's idea as well and will audition it on the ribbon. Thanks, Anon. My sample exercise was mostly to find the right color for the accents on the ribbon and I like my taupe choice given what's going on in the rest of the room. I really appreciate everyone's input here. Thanks so much.

      Yup, my hubbie is a man after my heart. Our bluebird feeder is all installed now, out in the field/apple tree area where they hang out. I will go out twice a day and give them 3 or 4 worms as is prescribed. It may take a few days for them to find the food but they are always in this area so hopefully this will be a success.

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  7. I really like the taupe-plummy-color you chose. And the idea about stitching along the edges. Really lovely. I will look forward to seeing your finished project!

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  8. OMG you WILL be at this for a while . I like the Brown . The stencilling is pretty but maybe a bit folk Art . It depends on the look you want.

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  9. I just read annon post . What about mounting the upper ribbon on a wider ribbon to get the border effect . Allot quicker!!!

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  10. Julie Zickefoose is a great writer! I very much enjoy her blog and articles in Bird Watcher's Digest.
    Kathleen

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  11. I agree that the machine embroidery is just great. I think machine decorative stitches are generally under used. Also like the idea of additional stitching along the edges. Maybe your light green for that? Can't wait to see what you choose.

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